When writer/director Farhan Akhtar announced he was remaking the classic 70s Bollywood thriller Don, critics doubted whether he could recreate the stylish magic of a film remembered for superstar Amitabh Bachchan's towering performance as a gangster who is replaced by his doppelganger. The fact that his father Javed had co-written the original made his challenge even tougher. By signing up current screen king, Shah Rukh Khan, and hiring top Hollywood stunt and special effects experts, Akhtar may have invented a glossy contemporary version, but sadly its beautiful body lacks soul.
When criminal mastermind Don (Khan) is seriously injured during a police chase, he's hidden away by Inspector DeSilva (Boman Irani) and secretly replaced by Vijay, a local bumpkin who is his spitting image. But when the man shielding him dies, Vijay realises both the police and Don's mafia enemies are out to nab him. As a cat and mouse trail ensues around Paris, Malaysia and India, it's up to you to decipher how the fake Don can prove his innocence before avenging adversaries Roma (Priyanka Chopra) and Jasjit (Arjun Rampal) karate chop him to death.
"LITTLE REAL SUSPENSE"
High-octane action and glamour aside, there's little in the way of real suspense to make this new age adventure totally gripping. Even the fresh twist in its tail is one astute audiences will spot a mile off. And while Khan does his best split personality impression, his psychedelic-shirt-wearing Don and Vijay are nowhere near as cool and clumsy as Bachchan's characters. But as one of the biggest and keenly awaited Bollywood pictures of 2006, he was always up against high expectations. Akhtar's Don will no doubt entertain a new generation, but it may leave fans of the superior original mildly disappointed.